First of all, this could be one of the most important questions for you and your leadership team to ask: What are we doing to reach new people? The second best question is a follow up to the first: So, how’s that working for us?
Have you noticed that evangelism/outreach programs seldom work? And if they do ‘work’ the results are way, way off from what we hoped for. And another thing (boy, I’m really being negative…but stay with me), if our ‘program’ actually results in someone talking to a non-Christian and inviting them to church or getting them to accept Jesus…typically we never see them again. Have you noticed that? Now I hope that many of you will write me back objecting and sharing countless stories of how your evangelism/outreach program worked, still works, and how you couldn’t be happier.
I’ll just sit here and pause.
Okay, you’ve been waiting patiently, here it comes: The absolute best way to reach new people is through renewed people. People, not programs, reach new people.
Every year I keep waiting for a new study that will contradict previous studies telling us that the number one way people come to visit a church is by the invitation of someone they know and trust. I’m waiting for someone to prove that door to door works, that billboards work, newspaper adds work, free car wash works, kitten give-aways work. Nope, what do the experts keep telling us? The number one way to get people to visit your church is to inspire your people to invite their friends, relatives, neighbors, and co-workers to church, or a church event.
You reach new people through renewed people. I wonder what would happen if we spent as much money and time and resources on creating ‘inviters’ as we did on outreach/evangelism programs? I think I know what would happen. We would see a consistent flow of guests and visitors.
What are you doing to reach new people?
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